The Game - The Enslavement Dream - Manor House Oath Highway TheWE.biz
Blackness!  Only blackness!
Dark the dream, long and far!
Threatening and lonely til you have come, my
dearest, bathing in your beauty.
Annabell, wondrous, shining girl,
Your kiss, your touch,
Always will I be with you.
The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
Manor House - Oath Highway The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
A novel by Yvonne, not of this world, and Kewe.

From extrapolations by Henry Longfellow and his friends, not of this world.

Some character names and gathering together for a wedding from a short story The Stone Bridge Manor House

Copyright Kewe All rights reserved - copyright notice at end of book.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
In some period within Eartarus known history, when the land of Vistula held a joining to Euranio, serpent lines began to be revealed, an entrance at one end, an exit at the other.
A few by design of the Great Light would be drawn inside these portals and at some moment return.  From their journey acquiring contentment, joy, much magic and great knowledge.
Those druí fit to examine such marvel prayed and fasted and, becoming like stars carried upon the sea ‘til the many became again the one.  But not now in Eartarus did they find themselves. This they say is arriving upon Upper Eartarus.
The druí in their wonderings and in their discussion of this magnificence began to determine that Upper Eartarus was a sea with countless paths.  Not any did arrive at the same place, and some venturing into the portals never returned.
Certainly those with valiant hearts came upon this wonder, but to the good and to the wicked it was decided intention directed within this sea.
As a caution and warning, the druí placed at each portal opening standing stones. The placement to give the traveller a message: Those must curb their passion who have great self desire.  And that to be of service to the all was the want.
As time proceeded, the druí began to understand some few of these serpent lines held great power.  Indeed many held less.  Here, like the great serpent lines of power, the one became the many within the sea, the many then back to the one.  But within these lesser lines travel did not lead to the upper lands of wisdom, or out to the wicked.  One arrived at a different part of Eartarus in this discovery and a great new wonder came to be.
A few of these lesser travelways thought would direct, but most held only one opening and one closing.  Here the destination could be predicted, was always certain. Thought had no issue.
So these became vast pathways, the means to reach through the mountains, under the seas.
And the druí praised the Great Light for its blessing.
Beware of conceit of simple people who judge things by their effects and not by their causes.

Edmund Spenser, 1633

The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
TWELVE DAYS The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
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Chapter One
Sacred Stones
Thirty minutes past five on a Monday morning at the Stone Bridge Manor House, Lucy the housemaid has her eyes open.
About to begin the work that leads to breakfast, she is having a few minutes.  The calendar up on the wall at the side of her bed tells her it is Monday, April 23, 1900.
“My goodness,” the young maid sighs.  The calendar, two hatpins holding it firmly in place, has only one page, and not any months but April and May and not all those days.
Just nine days of April, with five nights added to the calendar for May.
Lucy drew this April-May calendar yesterday having the inspiration because all the house is going to be busy as flower-season bees in the next many days.
Lucy reaches for the pencil on the side table, drops it, has to fumble under the bed until she finds where it’s rolled, picks it up, stands both hands against the wall, and then with one hand makes a big cross firmly over Sunday.  X
The first day has gone.
One of the days, the last day, has little flowers around its borders, May 5.  One week past this coming Saturday is when Miss Annabell and Mr. Edward are to be married. Another day, the first of May, Mayday, she’s placed a pole with flowing garlands.
Only eight days to go for Mayday and Weatherby village fair!  All the handsome young men!  Lucy shivers.  Tom is going to race the Point-to-Point from St. Brannoc’s.  Just the idea!
Why only on Friday a young foreign lady came by the door.  A lady with a strange single earring on one side.  A tiny bottle of wine she held, all togged in bright red and green crepe.  “To celebrate luck,” the young woman says. “Just a silver shilling from the Miss.”
Lucy only has a few shillings, and why she don’t know, but she rushes to her room, brings one down, gives it to the lady who hands the brown small bottle of wine to her. And then something else is placed in her hand, an amulet, pink with speckles of yellow.
“Charmed is the stone,” the lady says in her foreign way, “to bring you luck, place it around your neck.”
A silver shilling is a silver shilling, and Lucy is not in the habit of being extravagant, but there was a feeling.
From the start of January, from the start of this whole new century Lucy has taken to the idea that this is to be a special year.  For her and for all of them at the Manor.
Not to mention that itch in her right hand that won’t seem to go away.  Everybody knows an itch in the right hand means changes.
Lucy back under the sheets, turns towards the stone that lies on her stand by her pencil.  She reaches out, gives a quick touch.  She is so glad she has the stone.  Jimmy Briggs, the farm boy across the way, knows a fellow in Weatherby who will come and make a necklace to fit the stone.
She showed the amulet to Jimmy yesterday when he came around with Tom.  Jimmy is going to see this fellow Wednesday night and he might charge as much as a shilling, Jimmy says, to make a necklace.  Lucy screws up her face.  Another shilling!
Yes indeed, this is the new century.  You have to be extravagant.
Lying back stretching herself upon the narrow single bed, her fancies begin to return.  Lucy has some of the most powerful fancies.  Reading a book before she sleeps, a glance at any picture, a pirate ship, a foreign island covered in tropical trees, and she’ll be right there on the ship, upon the island.  A patched ruffian will have captured her, will be having his way with her to do she knows not what, and not a moment of fear about it, not one.
Just one more minute in bed, she thinks.  Tom will be up milking the cows.  Farmer Hopkins, Tom’s dad, will be having his blood pudding.  Tom has said he is going to win the point-to-point.  Both Tom and Jimmy Briggs say they are going to win the race.
Tom is sixteen, seventeen in three month.  He is staying nights in the stables here at the Manor.  Some wrangle with his dad that is what Mrs. Minton, the cook says. Tom won’t stay at the farm house, though he does go back to milk the cows.
Cook said the Squire has told Tom he can work in the stables for the time being, and help Mr. Entwistle the gardener if Tom has a spare moment.
The Squire is the local magistrate and he owns Stonebridge Manor, or at least half of it.  His brother, who is coming back from India on a steamer for the wedding, owns the other half.
Lucy thinks Tom and his father have almost come to blows.  Tom won’t talk of any of it to her, but they do need a young stableman to help Fred.  Olath, from some country up north of Scotland, had been helping to care for the horses.  When Fred the stableman went back to his wife Betty at the cottage, Olath would be in charge.  But Olath received a letter.  He had to go home, his father was not well.
Fred had been coming back after dinner but now Tom is here staying all night.  Lucy sneaks off to the stables in the evening to cheer him up.
Lying comfortable in bed, Lucy imagines all the people in the Devonshire countryside beginning to stir: Farmers taking benefit of the spring light; wives in farm kitchen placing bacon in pan. Black sausages that need stopping from getting burnt.
Lucy can picture the farmer’s wives making the yellow eggs look just as they should be, as Mrs. Minton in their kitchen will be doing soon.  Lucy wonders if she could ever be a farmer’s wife. Tom has rights to his father’s farm, she’s heard.  Rights that even if Tom and his father have a real barney, cannot be removed.
Lucy shoves the bedclothes from her.  Breakfast!  She has to get up.  Cleaning!
There’s the fire to be made in the stove.  Coal will need to be brought from the shed, something she hates.  She’ll have to put the water pans on, fill the copper kettle used for tea.  Her work is never done.
Miss Annabell, her Mistress, she likes to wake at seven these light mornings.  Meg, being the senior parlour maid, will take up the tray: Oolong in a fine china pot, with milk and three biscuits on a plate.  Lucy must get everything ready.
Lucy unbuttons the top of her bed-chemise, pulls it off. Her cotton knickers she slips off next.  Standing naked, she shivers. Dancing across to the faded walnut dresser, she quickly takes out fresh drawers, stepping into them, pulling on the white thin string.
Having a thin waist, these drawers need a lot of pulling if she’s to stop them from slipping.  Wrapping around the corset she picks off the chair, she tightens that.  Next it’s buttoning the corset-cover.
His Nibs, Mr. McBride the butler, will be fritting around this Monday morning.  It’s always, ‘Do this, do that, Lucy! Haven’t you finished yet!’
Fritting’s the word she likes to use for His Nibs in the morning.  With his irritations and his agitations and the weird squeak he makes down his throat when he first gets up.  It’s a wonder anyone can listen to it.  Every time he talks he sounds more like he’s spitting than speaking, at least for a couple of hours.
Dressed in her corset and underwear, Lucy sits on the small upright chair by the bed, begins to stroke in a soft way her pleasing-to-the-eye legs.
Miss Annabell’s friend, Miss Emily, will be here this afternoon, or maybe not until this evening.
Lucy carefully raises her white lace stockings from the tips of her bare feet up to her knees.
Lady Middleton will be arriving tomorrow.  Lucy gets up from the chair, makes a mock curtsy.  “Yes, Milady!  No, Milady!  Three bags full, Milady!”
Mr. Hews will be down from the north.  The Squire’s friend is staying at the Manor through the wedding.  And Mr. George Bexfield, the Squire’s brother who owns half the Manor, he will be here all the way from India.
According to cook, a woman from Australia is coming. Mrs. Minton says she’ll help with everything.  Lucy has all kinds of questions to ask about Australia.  Has she seen a ruffian?  How about the...what are they called... Roos? All that kind of thing, Lucy’s been there.
She’s been everywhere in the books.  Captured by a ruffian so many a time on a pirate ship.
Nudging first one breast then the second into place, making sure everything feels right, she gives one last quick pull on the corset before tying a bow pretty to make sure it all stays.
Feeling very light-hearted Lucy skips across to the pine wardrobe she and Meg share, to take out her petticoat.
Squire Bexfield is very fond of Lady Middleton.  Meg and she like to giggle about that. Meg is twenty-seven, been here since the ark, well at least since she was sixteen.
Lucy at nineteen is the youngest of the servants at the Manor.
Nelly don’t count.
Nelly the scullery girl is younger, but she lives out.
Reaching for her dress with its sprig-print that hangs crooked in the wardrobe, Lucy takes her time slipping it over her slender shoulders.  Only April yet.  Mornings still nippy the dress feels warm as she pushes it down over the petticoat.  She grabs for her fresh apron.
Staring at herself in the mirror on the wardrobe door, she thinks she’ll ‘pass muster’ as the soldier boys say.  All ready but for the mob cap.
Mrs. Minton will tell her if she looks not right.  Mrs. Minton likes Lucy.  Lucy knows she does because Mrs. Minton tells all the secrets about how to prepare and look for signs that the dish she’s cooking is cooked.
Cook never has a go with Lucy, but she will tell Meg if something is not quite right and then Meg will keep on at her.
Mrs. Minton knows a lot and she will always try to answer Lucy’s questions.  But she won’t if Lucy is asking about gossip.
Don’t matter!  If some scandal is happening at the big estate, Mandalmane, where juicy bits mostly come from, Mrs. Minton will tell Meg, but not Lucy.  But Lucy can always wheedle it out of Meg.
Mob cap on, then back off, then back on, Lucy turns herself as she stares in the mirror.  ‘You’re a right young gal.’ Lucy gives a little giggle at her daring.
Now a quick search of the room, old clothes in the corner as they should be.  Meg carries on something awful about Lucy’s clothes, but she mostly don’t mind if they’re piled in the corner.
Glancing at snoring Meg in the iron bed across from the room, Meg’s nose puckered as it gets when she makes her quiet snore, Lucy skips over to the window to fumble with the latch.  A loud screeching as the window is forced open.
“Shut that bloody window!”
“Meg, did I wake you?”
“Shut that bloody window, you cow!”
“Gives me the death of a cold,” Lucy sings as she leaves the window open as she waltzes towards the door. “Can’t open the window.  Can’t do that!  Gives me a death of cold.”
“Meg’s lazy as a sunning cat,” is the last insult as she wafts the bedroom door a few times before closing it.
Treading down the back servant’s stairs, happily she sings.  “Yes, Milady.  No! Milady.  Oh! I’m sorry!  Three bags full, Milady, I mean.” Laughing as she moves her skirt about.
. . .
McBride rummaging through the kitchen top cupboards is about to swear but stops himself.  “He’s got the belly, again.”
“What’s that, Woolly?”  Mrs. Minton at the stove turns to see him rearranging all her herb bottles.
“Bloody peppermint.”  McBride shouts across to her.
“I can’t find where I put it.”
“We moved it?”
“You moved it?”
A cooking pot about to bubble over, Mrs. Minton quickly picks up the thick cloth tucked into her apron, wraps it around the handle, slides it a distance.
“Cupboard was in right state.  Nothing where it should be.  Tonics underneath counter where should be.  Middle shelf on left!”
McBride, sputtering incoherently, gets off the stool opens the lower cupboard door.  “Found it, Missy.”
Mrs. Minton breathes a sigh of relief.  “I don’t know who placed them up top.”
“I did,” McBride answers.
“You did, Woolly!”
McBride is not about to get into any argument with Missy, so he falls silent.  Scottish, on occasion he will show his colours, exhibiting his highland accent when he does so. But his tongue now is mostly London with some Devon thrown in, and age has mellowed the ‘fierceness’ as he’ll sometimes speak of his former self.
Early in life his ‘penchant for the London chorus ladies’ dragged him ‘down to the heathen lands.’ The girls and he both were doing fine until weakness in his chest and a fog from the Thames with all that chimney smoke mixed, the ‘pea-souper’ of ‘79’ lasting from November to March, four months of endless gloom, drove him to seek a warmer climate and the countryside.
The agency sent him to Devon to the Manor. Squire, after his interview, sent him to have a meal cooked by Missy. Squire knew what he was doing.  It wasn’t only the food. Something about the widow he didn’t quite understand himself.  She wasn’t one of the girls.  But that meal!
A full butler’s wage he was given, though he was working in name as under-butler, Feeney refusing to retire.
Biddiford didn’t have the ‘the real lookers’ but what there was sufficed.  He could trot off to spend company on a day off.
Once Mrs. Minton and he started to get cosy, he gave up going to Biddiford.  At the beginning of spring, he would take a few days leave.  This year was the same.  Augusta Minton was wise enough to encourage it.  “I know you and the girls,” Missy said.  He always came back feeling guilty, and she didn’t mind that.
McBride clutches the peppermint bottle grimly as he searches for a spoon from the drawer.  “He’s not coming down.  ‘Get me the tonic,’ he keeps ranting.  You know how he is.”
“And I did want to talk to him this morning about the wedding orders.”  
“Feeney, the poor sod, they worked him to the ground. Now he’s doing it to me.”  McBride holds up the dark brown bottle. In the light he can see it’s half full. “Wedding’s creeping up on him, that what’s causing his belly’s doing.  Nerves always give him wind.”
Mrs. Minton stops at the pantry door about to get eggs for the custard tart, “I’ll have tears myself.  Please tell his Lord Justice that the wedding breakfast has to be made final.  Tell him the grocer needs time.  Tell him!”  
“I will, Missy,” McBride smiles in a most delicious evil way.  “It’ll help his digestion.  Better than a day at court.”
The peppermint bottle placed on a tray with the spoon next to it, McBride turns for a response only the lady has gone, disappeared into the pantry.
A clatter as the back door of the kitchen is pushed open. Young newsboy from the village runs up to McBride, hands him yesterday’s London broadsheet.  Reaching in his pocket, all he has is sixpence.  McBride seldom offers a perquisite, and three farthings would be his preference, but he tosses the silver over to the boy.  “Mind, don’t expect similar again,” McBride cautions, glancing at the paper’s headlines.
The broadsheet added to the tray, McBride pushes open the kitchen door leading into the servants passageway. Out into the main hallway he goes, up the wide stairs, the small brown bottle of liquid wobbling upon its tray. Reaching without the bottle’s harm Squire’s rooms at south corner, McBride knocks, steps inside.  “Here is the peppermint, sir.”
McBride considers the green tinge around the fangs as the liquid from the peppermint bottle is poured into a spoon.
“Mind!  Look!  You’re spilling it, Horace!”  The spoonful quickly gulped, the bottle is pulled from McBride’s hand.“ I’ll do it!”
As the Squire licks the second dose of peppermint off the spoon, McBride holds his tongue.
A small hand mirror is pointed to on top of the dressing table for McBride to fetch.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhh,” the Squire sticks out his tongue.  In the mirror he can see the white coating mixed with pink. “What do you think?”
Silence.
In disgust, the mirror is dropped to the bed, the sheets thrown back.  “I’m going to take a good long stroll, Horace, something to get the blood flowing.  Skyler and me.”
“Yes sir.”  McBride hands the Squire his dressing gown.
“On my return, I’ll be needing a bath.”  Stepping over to the water stand, the Squire pours from the jug, pats his face, then dabs with some soap.  Rinsing that off, he dries himself.  “Make sure the water is hot, Horace.”   Grabbing for the towel McBride is now holding, the Squire adds, “Keep the kettle boiling.”
“I always do, sir.”
Ignoring that remark, the dressing gown is discarded and then the outer night clothes.
“Mrs. Minton says she must speak with you about the wedding arrangements, sir, the grocer’s list, I think.”
The Squire emerging from the dressing room, buttons up his jacket.  “All right!  Tell her I have to speak with Miss Annabell.”
“I will, sir.”
Downstairs, the cane is taken from the hallstand, the front door opened then closed.  Brisk is the walk alongside the front of the manor house towards the stables.
At the carriage house door, Fred Enlem the stableman touches his cap.  “Morning Squire.”
“How is she, this morning?”
“Right vit” Fred answers.  “Tak’n ‘er over to pastures vir morning.  T’vit to be indoors.”
“Good girl.  Good Hasty!  I’ll take her out this afternoon if weather holds.”
“Yes, Squire.”
“Mr. Hews will be arriving tomorrow.  Mandalmane, as we discussed, will be bringing a horse for him.  If you would send a message to their stableman, Joshua Shenton.  You can use the telephone.  That is what we have it for.”
“Yes, Squire.”
“You might also have the horse for my brother brought over at the same time.  How’s Tom doing?”
“Good as gold, Squire.  Lad likes ‘osses.  Does a fine job cleaning of stalls.”
“Miss Emily, Miss Annabell’s friend will be arriving this evening.  The pony from the Hopkins’ farm should be brought over.  ”
“Tom bring’er ‘round moro, Squire, after ‘er milk’s cows.”
“Good.  Seen Skyler?”
“Weren’t two minutes I’d bin a feeding ‘er, sir.  Should be chew’n bone a’kennel.”
The Squire whistles and out from around the side of the carriage house the dog bounds.
The Great Dane makes for a big dog, but the Squire has never had favour with keeping either man or animal on a tether, unless needed, so there is no leash carried.  Except for upsetting the cows, a play the dog performs as he never gets near to them, the dog is as soft-hearted a creature as you ever could wish.
Past the stable grounds the Squire proceeds.  The stream that flows through his property from John Hopkins’ land is ahead.
At the stone bridge he stops.  The bridge built centuries previous and likely even older than that is they say of some ancient stone. This is the original Oath Highway, the old pathway from the moors to the village of Weatherby and then on to Biddiford.
That was before the common land was taken from the ordinary folk, became enclosed by the nobles and the estate by the moors established.
The Squire stalled mid-way across the bridge, stands and looks down at the stream.  Enchanted, the bridge is supposed to be, this bridge that gives its name to the manor house.  The old tale of the bridge comes to his mind:
Whosoever stops at the Stonebridge and should then engage with someone passing, that wayfarer will be told an important truth.  A truth that may be
neither pleasant nor wished for.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
Squire Bexfield stares across towards the farmhouse of John Hopkins.  The unpleasant truth is something he has to tell John. The farmer who works the southern manor land for him won’t want to hear it.  All the changes in marriage law in the past half century, neither Mary Hopkins nor John are likely to be happy.
John manages land that belongs to Stonebridge Manor, as well as his wife Mary’s farmland.  John Hopkins and he have the same arrangement as the Squire has with James Briggs the farmer opposite.  James manages Manor land on the west that borders Briggs’ farm.
John has asked him to look into his marriage rights.  The Squire wishes he were not involved.  John works the manor land well, besides his own farm, or more rightly the land that is owned by his wife.
John’s farm through marriage rightly one would think would be his, but Mary’s father had in his will decreed it could only be Mary’s, and her first male offspring when Mary should die.  John as husband will never have entitlement.  John is now asking about a divorce.
Standing on the bridge, the Squire vaguely sees someone walking towards him.  Without his spectacles he can tell it’s Annabell by the swing to her walk.  He’ll wait until she gets here.
He looks into the fast-running rain-filled stream, whistles for Skyler  The dog likely has strayed much further than he should and beginning play with John’s new Ayrshires.  Massive creatures they are with great horns curving over their heads.  Skittish as hell.
The Great Dane faithfully comes galloping back, but diverts once he notices Annabell.
Annabell holds up her hands to stop him from jumping up on her.  “Good dog!  Good dog!”
“He isn’t,” her uncle answers.  “I couldn’t see but I know he was playing with the Ayrshires.”
Annabell reaches down to pat Skyler’s head.  “You were playing weren’t you!”  The Dane busily licks her hand.  “I spoke to McBride before leaving, Uncle Ronald.  He said he was to get some peppermint.  I was coming to see you. Mrs. Minton needs the grocery list for the wedding. McBride said you weren’t dressed.  He said your stomach was upset.  Nerves he said.”
“Oh!  Tush!  Nerves, be damned,” the Squire blusters.  “A slight indisposition.  The man always exaggerates.  See! I’m out walking.”
Annabell says softly.  “Mandalmane is only a short ride, uncle.”
“I know!”  The Squire stares down into the water that rushes underneath.  “The stream is engorged by the heavy spring rain yesterday.”
“You will be able to see me every day.”
The young woman fussing with the dog, who he has cared for since she was a young girl, she will be gone soon.  He is going to miss her, miss her terribly, and that’s the end of it.
Annabell lets go of the dog, reaches up to her uncle, kisses him. “Uncle Ronald!  I do love you!  Good uncle Ronald.  I love you so.” For a long moment her delicate young hand touches his rough, almost-shaved cheek. “Are you sure everything is all right?  It is not more than just the stomach bothering you?”
“Never been better, my dear.”  The Squire grabs hold of Skyler’s collar, the dog having wedged himself between them.  “See you in an hour or so.”
“Yes, of course.”
As the Squire strides away from his niece towards the distant copse, he turns, asks: “Is Edward coming over?”
“Yes.”
“And Emily is arriving this evening.”
“Yes.”
“Good.”  At the end of the bridge, the Squire waves his cane.
. . .
Blackness!  Only blackness!

Dark the dream, long and far!

Threatening and lonely til you have come my dearest, bathing in your beauty.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
Blackness!  Only blackness!

Dark the dream, long and far!

Threatening and lonely til you have come my dearest, bathing in your beauty.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream
Your kiss, your touch, always will I be with you.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
When a stranger first catches sight of Stonebridge Manor, it is usually just a glimpse: the top of the top windows peaking above the trees, the gables, the chimneys, the odd clay flow pots upon the chimneys.
A sense presents itself, nothing explained, nothing really understood, of some refuge where one might go when weary, or when frightened, that might shield one, give of itself its caring.
On a day’s excursion to the moors a driver passing by Stonebridge Manor will hear a shout from the open carriage window, “That house!  Did you see it?  What a fine place.  I wouldn’t mind living there!”
Then will come the call, “What is this road called, driver?”
“Oath Highway, sir.”
“Oath Highway, a strange name!”
“Bandits, sir.  Lived among the trees they did, King John’s time they say.  Families ‘n all in these trees.”
“Is that so!”
“Yes, sir.  Then some tell of even former times.  ‘Oath as in allegiance,’ they say, ‘Before Saxons, before even those who fought the Romans in various tongues oath of allegiance has been coupled to this place.’”
“Oath to who?  good fellow!”
“The druids, sir.  Demanded your allegiance, sir.  Upon your death.”
“Glad I was not here then.”
“Yes, sir.  An Englishman, always free, I say.”
Farmland northwest out from Weatherby.  Halfway, trees hold fast.  A lonely path this road from Weatherby. Lonelier still once distance to Stonebridge Manor is attained. Then farms and the farming houses fail, leaving only the estate and its big house Mandalmane hereon, and even Mandalmane seems to lose itself, the land becoming wilder and wilder with the moors approach.
Then the heather, the vastness of the peat, the bogs, the roaming fells, the mist that shroud its ghostly, ethereal secrets.
Stonebridge Manor, the redbrick house so square in shape, with its safety this is where the quiet intensity mostly starts.
Of the western face of the Manor, a drawing room at its south corner, windows perfect for one to view all carriages incoming along the drive.
Next to the drawing room windows are the steps that lead to dark red doors.  Greeting one if you should step up, a shining brass oval door plate, two raised pelicans either side.  A study is north of the doors, and north of that the library at the far corner.
Along the southern side, built in more recent years, a glasshouse known as the solarium, modelled it is believed after one seen at Kew.  With entrances from the drawing room, parlour and dining room, plants that reach beyond eight feet, this is a wonder.
As the driveway widens, a Monkey tree on the west side.
Five windows on the first floor.
Above those, topped by gables, five more.
Around the manor, fine latticing decorate all but the servant’s windows.
Annabell feels so heavenly,

Her dearest soothing in the quiet.

Love does surround dear Annabell,

So much love.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
Love does surround dear Annabell,

So much love.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
The moment of her longing fades and Emily gathers her thoughts to how far the carriage has come.
She wishes she were at the Manor.
She wishes she was in Annabell’s arms.
As Emily drifts she comes into the fancies, to the times she has taken before this journey.
Emily has seen many of her lives, or those she believes her lives. But two lives were here.  One a much earlier age where she is a priestess, where she lives near a circle of stones.  Another of more recent time where she gathers herbs and heals and succours to those who come to her, as best she knows how.
These lives that move within her Emily did receive the priestly initiations that brought the knowing.  Visions of strangeness, of entering into worlds not her own.
Initiations she began to give to others.  Prompted, she would give to the old and young by power that would flow over her.  Who was it gave these strange forces? Who were the Gods?
At times she would have visions of being inside ships that were within the sky.  How beyond these strange screens she could see the stars.
Sometimes they would move very fast.  Sometimes the stars would fly past.
“Are you the Gods?”  she would ask the beings inside the ships.  All manner of worlds she seemed to visit.
How these initiations she gave perplexed her.
Power flows, inner forces, God beings, wondrous worlds.
What is this mystery?
Even those who lived on the airships seemed to have no answer. Soul was something that brought the priestess great conflict.  The tremor of ‘Soul’ was not the mind, but it could and would at times seem to be the mind.  Balance between good and ill, it was very much a puzzlement.
As priestess, she used light that could place her from her home where the circle of stones lay.  One moment upon the moors, next through this light a village came.  A settlement where the traders bartered.
A sea inlet their ships were tethered, goods made and brought from distant lands.  Goods sold for tin and gold.
It remained a wondrousness to her, this so sparkling, so impelling light-energy.
Were the beings in air-ships creators of Soul?
What is it, Emily?
What is it?
Push! Push! The baby with the dragon head cometh in the
womb!
Wings it has, wings, all tucked by the side.

Kill it!  Kill it!

Before it comes to live.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
Wings it has, wings, all tucked by the side.

Kill it!  Kill it!

Before it comes to live.

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Within these tremors is a past that she cannot rid.  She had killed it.  She had reached into the woman and she had crushed the skull.
She thinks that Michael has been with her.  He does come to her.
Michael, are you here?
Michael, dearest Michael,
Are you here, Michael!
Are you here!
Daylight still as the carriage enters Biddiford.  Houses and cottages all have windows unshuttered.  Many wide open to allow inside warm, spring air.  Annabell will be waiting and Emily comforts herself with that.
She waits. but where in the sea of dark.
Emily out here

out here, Emily!

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She who is wandering, wandering, dreaming, dreaming amidst this darkness.

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In the later life of her dreams, she again lives by the inlet sea. Changed somewhat, as has the settlement that does the trading. Biddiford now it is named, a sea of people passing through.
She searches for the pathway to the sacred site, searches for the stones upon the moors.  Never can she find them.
The trees are different.  The streams unlike anything she remembers.
By a strange home where a family lives, she thought she did feel the power of the stones, but the children and the mother would always frown.  She would never approach.
In the town where the entrance to the travelling pathway is, she had no idea.  She wondered if it still exists.
There came a time when she had to forsake this town of Biddiford. Emily recalls the great fear.  Simple creatures that had been charged to be hanged.  It was not them, you fools.
It was never them.
If anything she, Emily, gathering her herbs had been the witch.
You were charged 12 years since, did you never see the devil but this time?

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Yes, once before: I was going for brooms
and he came to me and said, this poor
woman has a great burden, and he would
help ease me of my burden.

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And I said, The Lord has enabled me to
carry it so far, and I hope I shall be able
to carry it further.

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They had tortured them for the false confessions, the women begging, crying, screaming.
The charge had been of pricking, the woman accuser making a statement to the town Alderman:
A feeling quite unusual in the arms, the
stomach, in the heart.  Such terror she has
been taken with, and all because of these.

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This informant further saith that on
Thursday the first day of June last past in
the night, she this informant was bound
and seemingly chain'd up, with all pains
gather together in her belly.

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So that on a sudden her belly was swollen
big as two bellies, which caused her to cry
out, I shall die, I shall die.

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And in this condition this informant lay as
though she had been dead for a long space, which those persons that were in the
chamber with her this informant did
compute to be about two hours.

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In this dream, Emily has fled.  She is sure they would come for her.   She was known for her herbs, respected for her healing.
“How damned the worthies became,” Aunt Keren said. “Mayor Thomas Gist, the accusing Alderman John Davie, the rational, supposedly enlightened judge.  Even he had resolved his questioning, no longer daring to raise his voice.”
And saith that upon Sunday the 16th day of
July last she was taken in a very grievous
and tormenting manner at which instant of
time one Agnes Whitefield the wife of John
Whitfield of Biddiford was in this informants
husband’s house, who opening the door, and
looking out, found one Mary Trembles of
Biddiford, single woman standing before the
door.

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John
Whitfield of Biddiford was in this informants
husband’s house, who opening the door, and
looking out, found one Mary Trembles of
Biddiford, single woman standing before the
door.

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And therefore this informant did ask of the
said Agnes Whitfield who it was that stood at
the door, who answered that it was the said
Mary Trembles.

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Upon which this informant was fully assured,
that the said Mary Trembles, together with the
said Susanna Edwards, were the very persons
that tormented her, by using some magical art
or witchcraft upon her said body, as aforesaid.

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Upon which this informant was fully assured,
that the said Mary Trembles, together with the
said Susanna Edwards, were the very persons
that tormented her, by using some magical art
or witchcraft upon her said body, as aforesaid.

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Emily has seen herself going to these women’s cottages. One of the woman had come down sick, Agnes it was, and Mary Trembles had come to her asking for her healing.
Emily had felt some energy come to her on her way to the small cottage.  Could that have been the portal to the pathway that she knew, the magic path that would take her to the stones?
Had the women themselves discovered the portal?  Did they travel within?  If they did, its power would attach itself to them. The flow of light energy would be upon them.  Unknowingly they would transfer it to those who they met.
Was this why the woman who accused Mary Trembles became disturbed?  A weaker mind bringing itself into contact with such energy, might feel it as a pricking. Light energy trying to initiate lower centres of energy inside the body meeting resistance in the woman, she would have felt a sense inside that was very unusual. That would have been frightening to someone who didn’t understand.
Did the Mayor, the Alderman also feel the sparkling light, feel a power that came from the women?  Was this why they stood accused, because these ignorant ones felt afraid.
The said informant upon his oath saith that
about two years ago the wife of John Coleman
of Biddiford, aforesaid mariner was taken very
sick and in her sickness this informant did
repair unto one Doctor Beare for some remedy
for these pains.

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The said Mr. Beare being come
unto her, and upon view of her body did say
that it was past his skill to ease her by reason
that she was bewitched.

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Emily shifts herself in the carriage, folding again into the bells, the flute, to the rising energy that comes upon her. “They had no witchery they performed,” Aunt Keren had been adamant. “Temperance, Mary, Susanna Edwards these were poor peasant women who held a cottage that someone wanted.  Money is at the root of sentencing,” Aunt Emily had said.  “Money and sometimes a need to do evil to another soul, but usually money.  This is the reason for those women to be hanged.”
The Assizes being held at Exeter on the 18th of August 1682, it happened that there were three persons arraigned for witch-craft whose names take as followeth, Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles

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and Susanna Edwards, all dwelling in one town, in the aforesaid County of Devon, namely Biddiford, formally called Bythford, all three being striken in years which might have taught them more graces.

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But man's enemy, Souls destroyer, and the author of wickedness, so prevailed with them, that they made an interchange, accepting a hell for a heaven, rather willing to please the Devil than the great Creator...

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Therefore I say these poor souls aiming at nothing but ruin imbrace fully instead...

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And being prov'd guilty of witchcraft were condemn’d to be hanged, which was accordingly executed in view of many spectators.

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Friday, August 25, 1682 came the time of the deaths. They were hanged for having been found guilty of causing some pricks to be felt, some woman’s belly to ache.
Emily, try as she might to move her mind from the moment, feels once again the hanging:  The gasping as the women try to breath. The dreadful choking as air fails.
Creatures to fly!

Creatures to follow!

Creatures at first unseen,

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To be unknown by woman inside a womb.

Creatures who have pairs of wings.

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Emily!

Be awake my dear,

It is coming, Emily.

Ting!

Ting!

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Emily tries as she can to slow the images, yet how she had loved to fly.  Over mountains, over rivers, over endless stars she would soar.
Now the high pitched whistles.

Now the rings!

Her stomach has tightened

Her forehead, Her Soul calling:

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To be unknown by woman inside a womb.

Creatures who have pairs of wings.

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Wander freely Emily, wander with bliss,

Take that which you need as it sweeps you further.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream. TheWE.biz
Wander freely Emily, wander with bliss,

Take that which you need as it sweeps you further.

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Emily pulls her shawl about her.  They’ve been talking, Michael and she.
None knew, only I, and its spirit whispering, that it came from evil,
I could not allow it.
I could not!
So my dearest, now the payment.

You are your own being, you draw on her memories,

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You draw on her power, nut that is she, not you.  You did not kill the child.

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As the carriage forgoes Biddiford, they rush past fields that become shadows.  All has darkened.  The drive is on to the Weatherby road.
You will be through it soon, Emily.

Michael, when will it be?

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Soon!  Do you wish to know who will be the father?

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Emily cannot respond.  She has a fear that is enough.
She will be a mother and someone will take her.
She turns from Michael now, turns to drift asleep.
Betwixt night and dreaming the horses rush.
Then she awakens and through the trees lights, large windows of the drawing room where sparkling lamps shine of warmth.
Then it comes all mixed, the past that will be the future.
A face stares into hers.
A spirit ghost with lost eyes.
She is sure this power speaks to her:
My baby?  Where is my baby?

I cannot find my baby.

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First Edition published June 2014
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